Katrín Jakobsdóttir

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Katrín Jakobsdóttir
Katrín Jakobsdóttir (24539871465) (cropped).jpg
Katrín in 2015
28th Prime Minister of Iceland
Assumed office
30 November 2017
PresidentGuðni Th. Jóhannesson
Preceded byBjarni Benediktsson
Chair of the Left-Green Movement
Assumed office
24 February 2013
Preceded bySteingrímur J. Sigfússon
Minister of Education, Science and Culture
In office
2 February 2009 – 23 May 2013
Prime MinisterJóhanna Sigurðardóttir
Preceded byÞorgerður Katrín Gunnarsdóttir
Succeeded byIllugi Gunnarsson
Personal details
Born (1976-02-01) 1 February 1976 (age 45)
Reykjavík, Iceland
Political partyLeft-Green Movement
Spouse(s)Gunnar Sigvaldason
Children3
Alma materUniversity of Iceland

Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Icelandic: [ˈkʰaːtʰrin ˈjaːkʰɔpsˌtouʰtɪr̥]; born 1 February 1976) is an Icelandic politician, serving as the prime minister of Iceland since 2017. She has been a member of the Althing for the Reykjavík North constituency since 2007. She became deputy chairperson of the Left-Green Movement in 2003, and has been their chairperson since 2013. Katrín was Iceland's minister of education, science, and culture, and of Nordic co-operation from 2 February 2009 to 23 May 2013.[1] She is Iceland's second female prime minister, after Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. On 19 February 2020, she was named Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders.[2]

Education[edit]

Katrín was born in Reykjavík. She graduated from the University of Iceland in 1999 with a bachelor's degree, with a major in Icelandic and a minor in French.[3] She received her M.A. in Icelandic literature from the same university in 2004, for a thesis on the work of popular Icelandic crime writer Arnaldur Indriðason.[1]

Non-political career[edit]

Katrín worked part-time as a language adviser at the news agency at public broadcaster RÚV from 1999 to 2003. She then freelanced for broadcast media, and wrote for a variety of print media from 2004 to 2006, as well as being an instructor in life-long learning and leisure at the Mímir School from 2004 to 2007. She did editorial work for the publishing company Edda and magazine JPV from 2005 to 2006, and was a lecturer at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík University, and Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík from 2006 to 2007.[4]

Political career[edit]

Katrín became deputy chairperson of the Left-Green Movement in 2003, and has been their chairperson since 2013.[4]

She has been a member of the Althing for the Reykjavík North constituency since 2007.[1]

Katrín was Iceland's minister of education, science, and culture, and of Nordic co-operation from 2 February 2009 to 23 May 2013.[1]

Prime Minister (2017–present)[edit]

Katrín meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in Reykjavík in May 2021

Before becoming Prime Minister, Katrín was chairperson of the Left-Green Movement.[5] In the wake of the 2017 Icelandic parliamentary election, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson tasked her with forming a governing coalition to consist of the Left-Green Movement, the Progressive Party, the Social Democratic Alliance, and the Pirate Party.[6] Coalition talks between the four parties formally began on 3 November 2017,[7] but were unsuccessful because of Progressive Party concerns that her coalition would have too thin a majority.[8] As a result, Katrín sought to lead a three-party coalition with the Independence Party and Progressive Party. After coalition talks were completed, President Guðni formally granted her a mandate to lead the government, which was installed on 30 November.[9][10] She is the second woman to serve as Prime Minister of Iceland.[11]

According to political scientists, Katrín's government "combines conventional economic and social emphases (e. g., support for the regions and primary industries) with opposition to European integration". Despite being a coalition government of the left-socialist Left-Greens, the centre (Progressive Party), and the right-wing (Independence Party), the coalition was stable throughout 2018.[12]

As head of government, Katrín made taxes more progressive, invested in social housing, extended parental leave, and reduced gender pay inequality. She has had to make concessions to her right-wing partners to maintain her coalition, such as giving up the creation of a national park in the center of the country.[13]

In September 2021, almost four years after her inauguration, Katrín remains highly popular, and leaves an image of integrity and sincerity. Her good management of the COVID-19 pandemic has been praised, with the country having one of the best health records in Europe, with 33 deaths.[14]

The 2021 parliamentary elections were a failure for the Prime Minister's party, the Green and Left Movement, which lost three of its 11 seats in Parliament. However, the coalition government retained its majority, and negotiations began between the parties to renew their agreement. Polls conducted in the days following the election indicated that a large majority of Icelanders wanted Katrín Jakobsdóttir to remain in government.[15]

Political positions[edit]

Katrín opposes Icelandic membership of NATO, but as part of the compromise between the Left-Greens and their coalition partners, the government does not intend to withdraw from NATO or hold a referendum on NATO membership.[16] Katrín also opposes Iceland joining the European Union.[17][18] The coalition government does not intend to hold a referendum on continuing Iceland's accession negotiations with the EU.[17][18]

Personal life[edit]

Katrín is married to Gunnar Sigvaldason, and the mother of three sons (born 2005, 2007, and 2011).[4]

She hails from a family which has produced many prominent people in Icelandic politics, academia, and literature. She is the younger sister of twin brothers Ármann Jakobsson and Sverrir Jakobsson, who are both professors in the humanities at the University of Iceland. Katrín is the great-granddaughter of the politician and judge Skúli Thoroddsen and the poet Theodóra Thoroddsen, and granddaughter of the engineer and MP Sigurður S. Thoroddsen. The poet Dagur Sigurðarson is her maternal uncle.[1]

International cooperation[edit]

Katrín has been a member of the following committees:[1]

  • Icelandic Delegation to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (since 2017)
  • Icelandic Delegation to the EFTA and EEA Parliamentary Committees (2014–2016)
  • EU-Iceland joint Parliamentary Committee (Deputy Chair 2014–2016)
  • Icelandic delegation to the West Nordic Council (2013–2014)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Secretariat of Althingi, retrieved 31 January 2009
  2. ^ "Her Excellency, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland Appointed Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders". Council of Women World Leaders. 19 February 2020. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  3. ^ Brandsma, Elliott. "Education is Our Best Investment". Stúdentablaðið. University of Iceland. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Katrín Jakobsdóttir". Alþingi (in Icelandic). Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  5. ^ Martyn-Hemphill, Richard (30 November 2017). "An Environmentalist Is Iceland's New Prime Minister". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Katrín komin með umboðið". Morgunblaðið. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  7. ^ Sigurður Bogi Sævarsson (3 November 2017). "Málefnunum skipt í tvennt". Morgunblaðið. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Iceland's leftist parties fail to form government". Yahoo/AFP. 6 November 2017. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Iceland's Left-Green leader Jakobsdóttir becomes new PM". BBC News. 30 November 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  10. ^ Jón Pétur Jónsson (28 November 2017). "Katrín fær stjórnarmyndunarumboðið". Morgunblaðið. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Johanna Sigurdardottir | prime minister of Iceland". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  12. ^ Hardarson, Ólafur Th; Kristinsson, Gunnar Helgi (2019). "Iceland: Political Developments and Data in 2018". European Journal of Political Research Political Data Yearbook. 58: 132–135. doi:10.1111/2047-8852.12267. ISSN 2047-8852. S2CID 214060768.
  13. ^ "Législatives en Islande: plus de 47 % de femmes parmi les nouveaux élus". Le Monde (in French). 26 September 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  14. ^ "L'Islande aux urnes avec un casse-tête politique en vue". Ouest-France (in French). 23 September 2021. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  15. ^ Fontaine, Andie Sophia (13 October 2021). "Poll: Largest Share Of Those Polled Want Katrín Jakobsdóttir To Continue As Prime Minister". The Reykjavík Grapevine. Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Iceland PM: Equality requires clear policy". BBC News. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Þjóðaratkvæðagreiðsla um Evrópusambandsaðild ekki forgangsmál hjá Vinstri grænum - Vísir". visir.is. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  18. ^ a b "Össur segir kjósendur VG vilja í ESB". mbl.is. Retrieved 7 May 2019.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Chair of the Left-Green Movement
2013–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Education, Science and Culture
2009–2013
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Iceland
2017–present
Incumbent
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders
2020–present
Incumbent